This has been a period when the Governments across the United Kingdom, and indeed across the European Union, have understandably and correctly been focused on combating the global health pandemic. As we approach the date when agreement between the UK and the EU must be reached to avoid a no-deal Brexit, large numbers of my constituents in North Ayrshire and Arran feel strongly that, in the current context, I should present this petition on an extension of the Brexit transition period.
The petition states:
The Petition of residents of the constituency of North Ayrshire & Arran,
Declares that the current COVID-19 pandemic should be the primary focus of the Government at this time rather than the withdrawal talks with the European Union; notes that the Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast that the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown could shrink the UK economy by 35% and that unemployment could rise by two million; further notes that the International Monetary Fund has stated that the crisis ‘dwarfs the losses that triggered the global financial crisis’, and that it is ‘very likely that this year the global economy will experience its worst recession since the Great Depression’; further notes that the Brexit transition timetable requires agreements to be reached with the European Union by 30 June; declares that the prospect of a ‘No Deal Brexit’ remains and that this poses additional challenges to businesses already facing significant economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic; and further declares that any decision to stick to the current timetable, given the huge economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, will have a devastating impact on people’s livelihoods, prosperity and the national good.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to seek an immediate extension to the Brexit transition period to avoid further unnecessary and severe economic harm to Scotland and the entire UK.
And the petitioners remain, etc.